University of Botswana (UB) lecturer at the Faculty of Finance and Accounting has been appointed the new Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Director, six months after founding Director resigned for “personal reasons.”
Finance PS Solomon Sekwakwa confirmed the appointment of Dr Abraham Sethibe this week Tuesday evening before jetting off to London. “He has been appointed the new FIA Director,” he said before directing further inquiries to Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo, the Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy whom he said has been facilitating the recruitment. However, Dr Nyamadzabo was reluctant to discuss Dr. Sethibe’s appointment. “I will not say anything regarding that issue. When the recruitment has been finalised on the 1st of August, then we will rightfully communicate with you,” he said. For his part, Dr Sethibe claimed ignorance about the appointment saying government was yet to communicate with him. The FIA top post has been vacant for over six months now. Former director Jackson Madzima resigned at the end of December last year under a cloud of controversy. Madzima, who is believed to be well grounded in issues of financial intelligence cited personal reasons for his shock resignation. Finance Minister Kenneth Mathambo appointed Madzima FIA director on 1st October 2010.
Who is Dr. Sethibe?
Dr. Sethibe is well versed on issues of business and finance issues, which might have worked in his favour to land the financial spy agency hot seat. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at Bank of Baroda. He accumulated vast experience in the financial field after he published a research document titled, ‘Impediments to the development of stock markets in Southern Africa.’ This preceded his PhD in finance, which he acquired in 2009 at the Australian National University. He is also one of the top facilitators of high profile conferences and workshops that aim to inform and educate the African region on issues of financial literacy and development.
Unlike his predecessor Madzima, who the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) had earlier engaged as Senior Assistant Director-Training and Development, it is unclear whether Madzima has any knowledge in intelligence and criminal detection work, since he has only been exposed to the academic field.
Madzima has also served as a Researcher at Institute for Security Studies, and a Staff Officer Operations at Botswana Police. Previously he worked as Regional Specialised Officer - Financial and Hi-tech Crimes at International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) - Sub Regional Bureau.
Politics of FIA directorship
While Madzima himself stressed that he resigned from FIA because he no longer wanted to be employed there, highly placed sources revealed that the FIA directorship was a very political position that requires one to be linked to the political powers that be. Madzima’s main undoing was, according to sources, his political affiliation and was also believed to have lost favour with Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General Isaac Kgosi after leaking some information that dismayed the spy boss, accusations that Kgosi has rubbished.